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Heightened holiday enforcement aims to save lives

The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and nearly 200 local law enforcement agencies are coming together for the annual holiday “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign to keep alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers off the road. Now through the early morning of Jan. 2, Illinois motorists will see this lifesaving enforcement effort on the roads of their communities and throughout the state.

“The holidays should be a time for celebrating and making memories, not a time of tragedy and loss for families,” said Cynthia Watters, IDOT’s bureau chief of Safety Programs and Engineering. “Unfortunately, alcohol at holiday events means the potential for more impaired drivers. Driving and the use of alcohol, drugs or other substances needlessly contributes to deaths on our roads.”

The holiday campaign features the familiar “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” messages. In addition to DUI and seat belt offenders, law enforcement will show zero tolerance for speeding, distracted driving and other offenses.

“Driving under the influence has deadly consequences. Make a plan to designate a driver, call a cab, or use a rideshare service before consuming alcohol,” said Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz. “Throughout the holidays, the ISP will be doing their part in keeping the roadways safe by strictly enforcing the four most common causes of fatal traffic crashes, The Fatal Four: DUI, speeding, seat belt, and distracted driving. Remember, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

With all the seasonal festivities taking place over the next few days, it is essential to plan for a sober ride home before the celebrating begins. During the Christmas weekend last year, 11 people died on Illinois roads. Four of those people lost their lives in crashes involving at least one driver who tested positive for alcohol.

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” programs are administered by IDOT using federal funds.

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